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Childhood glaucoma – A review of basics

 Department of Ophthalmology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Sucheta Parija,
Department of Ophthalmology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar - 751 019, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_26_20

Childhood glaucoma is a rare disease associated with significant pressure related visual loss and ocular comorbidity. It consists of a heterogeneous group of diseases which can be classified based on etiopathogenesis and morphology. Global incidence of childhood glaucoma accounts for 2%–6% of blindness in children. Although glaucoma in children is rare compared to adults yet the burden of blindness is significant. Hence, early diagnosis and treatment is of paramount importance to save vision. The classical triad of signs is blepharospasm, epiphora, and photophobia which may be missed in the infants unless corneal edema and buphthalmos manifests. Attention to these minute details makes detection of the disease possible even by the primary treating physician. Unlike adult glaucoma, the cupping in these cases is reversible. Therefore, the diagnosis and classification of the disease plays an important role in deciding the treatment protocol. Treatment for childhood glaucoma is primarily surgical management and requires a long-term follow-up. The prognosis is better if the disease is diagnosed and treated earlier. In developing countries delay in diagnosis, availability of limited surgical expertise, frequent follow-up and lifetime rehabilitation adds to the stress on parents and burden to the community. Relevant data regarding congenital glaucoma were researched on by the qualified ophthalmologists through Google Search, Bing, and Opera Mimi search engines from PubMed, Scopus, and Copernicus indexed journals. Emphasis was given on including hand searched articles after going through the hard copies of certain articles and the appropriate references have been cited in the text. This article highlights the epidemiology, classification, genetics and current management of this disease with emphasis on future strategies and planning to reduce the rate of avoidable blindness in children due to glaucoma.

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